WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects
Sept. 12, 2010: Back on Track Again
I have enough to do without going off on tangents and blogging all sorts of topics! I guess 9/11 made me do it, lol.
So, anyway, a succinct, basic explanation of bridge rectifiers that ends with a photo of one for wind power, resides at I do hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I needed it, btw, because I was getting ready to buy rectifiers for the day when I first start producing electricity by tapping into the wind....
Sept. 11, 2010: OMG: Blogs and Politics
With the advent of blogging possibilities on this site, plus the season being pre-election months, my website possibilities have just burgeoned. Blogging here at Vistaprint includes putting tags on blog entries for different subjects. OMG!
Until I figure out all these possibilities (and get them organized) let me just say a few personal things. Today I was fascinated by Gordon S. Wood on In Depth of C-Span's BookTV. I am going to have to view the beginning of it on C-Span's website, too. Every so often this history professor informed us of things I never knew about the early days of forming our Union.
Also, I am considering donating more time to political activities before the election, so I imagine I'll be "blogging" less about wind-powered devices for a couple months. Then again, I still work on building and designing my devices in my spare time. Lately I am ruminating about going back to the more conventional -- and perhaps most efficient -- design that alternates North and South magnetic poles rotating (ROTOR) across stationary (STATOR) wire windings.
Later, dudettes and dudes.
Sept. 4, 2010: Website and Design Concerns
Vistaprint now offers a blog feature for their websites and I have signed up for it. I am wondering if I can simply copy the pages I have posted so far as Archives and as Journal, but they won't have the proper dates on them in a new blog, regardless of whether or not I can Copy and Paste them into my new Blog. This is a quandary but not one I am ready to resolve yet.
As for design considerations for my wind-powered electricity generators, I just now realized that one feature has a limitation. I was thinking that I could design a system that could be installed either end up -- depending upon the site's structure. Then I could build the generator end virtually the same for both ways, starting with a platform from which to either hang the copper windings and magnets, or to simply set the wire windings upon with non-magnetic fasteners.
In either direction, though, I must insist that no magnetically attractable metal be within 3 inches of any of the magnets. I suppose aluminum nails exist; maybe aluminum screws. I'll have to check this out. I think I'll be able to mount the electricity generating apparatus 3 inches away from any nails in porch or eave roofs, but I had better check out the fasteners and materials that gutters are made out of before I get too comfortable with this idea for lessening the number of production variations.
Sept. 3, 2010: Have a Happy Labor Day Weekend!
Lately I have been painting garage doors, scraping paint on the creek's end of our house, gardening, and while watching TV I have been starting to sew together a platform for the wire windings that my (hopefully) first electric generator will need.
Photos of my platform 1/4 of the way sewn, next to a watermelon that decided to grow on our back deck:
The photos show an unripe watermelon, visited by a 17" hoop from Oriental Trading dot com that has been shoved inside of a Whacky Noodle (Family Dollar Store) whose end was sliced off at an angle. At the bottom of the photo is a 1/4 hoop piece that the Oriental Trading hoops are assembled from -- although different colors abound in that department.
The Plastic Fencing comes in rolls. It has 15/16" squares and I chose three rows of these squares (times two for more strength). Some other brand of fencing might turn out to have better proportions for this project.
I am sewing these three rows times two to the outside circumference of the Whacky Noodle. It is only halfway sewn. Then I will sew the same on the inside circumference of the Whacky Nooodle, thereby providing a three-point platform on which to attach wire windings.
This set-up will have wire windings on both the "Top" and "Bottom" plains of the hoop, while two more hoops (without the Whacky Noodles) will straddle and spin magnets on both sides of this hoop.
So, ultimately, I will also have two more platforms to construct for wire windings because I will have two like magnetic poles facing this hoop and rotating -- hopefully their repulsion will stabilize the distances among hoops. The two opposite magnetic poles will then rotate next to their own wire windings to provide the opposite charge for the two circuits that will charge a battery or two or run one or eight LED lights.
This project is only a prototypical experimental model, but I gotta start somewhere....
On another topic, after watching electricity shortages in Iraq on the PBS News Hour this evening an idea popped into my "wittle pea brain." We could put prayers on the spinning hoops as the Buddhists do. Let's see. What will I pray for? World peace? How about praying that God would convince the Taliban to use less violent "persuasion" strategies than assassination and bombing?
August 26, 2010: The Ultomato Experiment
I am planning to run wind experiment using two of "The Ultimato" contraptions that can stake your tomato plants. Here's a website address where you could purchase these at 3 for $27: with photo of a single set-up.
These tomato stake contraptions seem to be tall enough, but I'll have to double them up, width-wise to hold my "angel" whirligig. I must also clear up some space in our backyard, where we have a woodpile that would block the wind. Lately I have also been toying with various ideas of how to mount the copper wire windings on a level plain that has a hole in the middle of it for the spinning rod that holds the blades of the whirligig.
So, this weekend I hope to move the woodpile, giving it to a good mechaninc who owns a log splitter and whose garage uses wood heat all winter. Maybe I'll get a chance to tell him about my wind experiments....
Another fellow I talked to this week at an auto parts store told me that wind power gadgets he has tried don't work and that I'd be best off buying a motorcycle alternator rather than trying to build something myself. I hadn't thought of that, but I am pretty sure I'll get more electricity out of my gadget....
August 21, 2010 Bathroom Remodeling Done!
During work breaks I took from remodeling projects and during other spare time, I started to contemplate various projects related to home improvements that I might design to drain electricity from the wind electricity generators that I am also imagining building. My latest brainstorm netted the idea of building a driveway that is heated so that we won't have to shovel snow anymore. Adding this electricity use to the idea that I could use the power generated by wind to light our yard and driveway at night makes me wonder if I would tolerate less light on nights that the driveway needed heating.
On the other hand, now that I am started on home improvements and realize that summer will be ending relatively soon, I realize that various outdoor painting projects have been neglected rather too long. So, perhaps I won't be getting back to posting new information here until I get a few more household projects out of the way. Sorry, but again on the other hand, some rainy day I might surprise you all and finally post the rest of my archives. Also, painting underneath eave corners is preparation for hanging wind electric generators there.
Lately, I have also been investigating some Dean Graziosi real estate books I saw advertised at 5 a.m. one day on TV. I am a cautious sort, so I am not rushing this nighttime reading and listening project.There are too many ways to fail and lose access to one's potential resources if one rushes into contracts and such without knowing what one is doing, or how many ways there are to fail, beforehand -- how many erroneous assumptions can be made, in other words. One needs to understand the WHOLE market for real estate as well as borrower and defaulter behaviors before rushing into the foreclosure venue. I saw an interesting piece on PBS the other day about defaulters who continue to squat on property that has fallen so far in value that paying off the loan makes no sense to them....
July 13, 2010: Not Much To Report Right Now,
other than the 6 point buck I got a few photos of today. I said hello to him three times in my sweetest voice as I was getting the photos and three times it responded by wagging its tail like a pensive dog. My what big ears these deer have!
Currently I am working on household projects such as putting new linoleum down in one of our bathrooms as well as steam cleaning the shower and re-grouting the shower floor in there. These tasks will take some time.
I have more journal archives to retrieve, also. Please excuse the delays. I think that inclement weather is somehow more suitable for concentrating on engineering projects -- at least in my case since I like working outside so much. Nature and gardening call to me during the summer.
July 10, 2010: Design and Process
Watching Bravo's Work of Art, The Next Great Artist these last two weeks gives me ideas regarding the aesthetics of wind gizmos, and how I might look at them as artistic projects in the end. Also, a friend has an apartment with a cross-draft, so I am considering building relatively tiny whirligigs with low wattage lights attached for inside applications.
The process of developing construction techniques that are efficient is proceeding very slowly, especially regarding the wire windings. Now I have several windings on an unopened Christmas wrapping tube that is enveloped in rather tough plastic, but I am still struggling with the idea of getting those windings off the tube easily even though I was careful to back up frequently to let the windings spring back to a looser fit than when they were first wound....
July 6, 2010: New Suppliers just had delivered to us some wonderful new toys! Formerly I bemoaned the lack of reasonably priced magnet wire, but now I am happy. We got 790 feet of 24 gauge wire at $22. I couldn't believe the prices I had originally found displayed on the Internet for magnet wire! Those outrageous prices even prompted me to add a "DONATE" button to this website's "About Me" page, but I will be removing that soon.
It is quite a shame that false advertising no longer seems to be prosecuted in the U.S.A. Google advertisements that pop up on top when you search for products nearly often have seemed to claim "low prices" when the prices could  blow your socks off. BUYER BEWARE should be kept in mind -- especially regarding prices!
The wire manufacturer prints its own website address on the wire I just purchased: Now Powerwerx has plenty of nifty doo-dads having to do with electrical monitoring, such as multi-meters, and battery monitors, and magnet wire, but I will be checking out Bulk Wire, too.
Also, I found that the local tractor supply place was happy to let me take old tires off their hands for my windpower experiments because they have to pay $3 to get each tire recycled. The manager requires that he be present when I take the tires, but he had quite a stack of them and many of the tires appeared to be nearly perfectly sized for my use.
The manager asked what I would use them for and I explained that because they are round and rubber they are perfect platforms for the wire windings on my windpowered electricity generator experiments.
I have yet to make the actual incisions required to make the tires stop being mosquito factories, however. But until I get all the measurement possibilities straight, I'll be keeping the two old lawn tractor tires in the garage where they won't be collecting rainwater that mosquitoes would breed in.
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